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- January 10, 2019 - Galerie Thomas
Günter Haese -Space in Motion
The God of Small Things
Galerie Thomas presents Günter Haese, the Master of Delicate Metal Objects
It is a small miracle that Günter Haese’s objects can resist gravity. “In his work, the artist from Kiel explored fragility up to the limits of stability,” says gallery owner Raimund Thomas, “but he was not just interested in the movement of his spatial graphics, as he called his objects, but in the dissolution of an order that then restores itself.” Without the object tipping over. Galerie Thomas is now presenting 25 works by the artist, who passed away two years ago.
A Pioneer of his Time
Even though in its uniqueness Günter Haese’s work found no artistic companions, let alone imitators, he was a pioneer of his time in art-historical terms. “His graceful, human-scale objects, whose fragile equilibrium rests on even more delicate feet, are based on the contrast between geometry and materials on the one hand, and instability and a seemingly organic appearance on the other,” says Thomas. Today Haese is usually grouped with the kinetic artists, although he did not see himself as part of this category. The idea of the organic, self-regulating cycle also spread to science and politics in the 1960s, culminating in the student revolts of 1968.
Inspired by an Alarm Clock
After the war, Günter Haese, who was born on February 18, 1924, studied in Ewald Mataré’s master class at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf along with Joseph Beuys, among others. Having trained as a decorative painter, he began creating animal sculptures, and only after several years did he arrive at his unique work by way of monotypes. The spark was an alarm clock that Haese was given, which he took apart. He began laboriously soldering the little steel braids, hooks, springs, and balls with a copper soldering iron and stacking them on top of each other. However, Haese was never a rushed creator; instead, he was an introverted master who approached his works with care.
His success came overnight: Günter Haese had his first solo exhibition at the Ulmer Museum, and his second at MoMA in New York, after the curator at the time saw Haese’s works in Ulm and immediately contacted him. Haese’s works have been exhibited in numerous major museums around the world and are now part of renowned collections. The fact that his work did not receive this degree of attention until the end of his life may also be due to his contemporary competitors, who stirred up the art world with their bold and colourful works of Pop Art and Op Art.
Art Basel Miami Beach 2018
Elegantly dazzling with swirling colour application
Galerie Thomas presents „Les Peupliers“ by Max Ernst among other masterpieces
Max Ernst created his painting “Les Peupliers” in his love nest in Southern France. It was the last summer before the outbreak of the Second World War, his last and only summer in crazy, intimate togetherness with his lover Leonora Carrington. Galerie Thomas is pleased to be able to present this Surrealist work from one of the most important stages in Max Ernst’s creativity and life at this year’s Art Basel Miami Beach.
The last weeks before his flight to the USA
Max Ernst, the German artist and leading proponent of Surrealism, had fled from Paris with Leonora Carrington to the small village of Saint-Martin d’Ardèche in order to escape his quarrelsome second wife and the disputes with André Breton, who was politically tending towards Stalinism. Here, they purchased a farmhouse, which they transformed into a “Gesamtkunstwerk” (all encompassing work of art) with sculptures and painting, and antagonized the villagers with their nudist escapades. In Saint-Martin, Max Ernst created “Les Peupliers,” a work that ranks among a whole group of paintings showing similar columnar structures and forms created by decalcomania.
Only few weeks later in this dramatic summer of 1939 Max Ernst was interned in the notorious camp Les Milles. He escaped twice and finally fled with the help of no one else than Peggy Guggenheim to the USA. There was one more short meeting with his lover Leonora in Lisbon, but their plans to escape together were dashed. The name of Max Ernsts third wife is Peggy Guggenheim, although she wasn’t the last woman Max Ernst married.
Just an impression of two poplars
The perception of merely only a landscape painting when looking at “Les Peupliers” is soon shattered and overturned by the bizarre, strange and confusing forms in which the paint winds, curls and forms signs and symbols. Nowhere does the eye succeed in focussing on a familiar shape: profiles and faces, zoomorphic figures and cloud-like formations materialise, only to disappear again. “Everybody knows Max Ernst for Grattage and Frottage”, says Silke Thomas, “but this elegantly dazzling surface effect he achieves through the technique of decalcomania, a transfer process, in which the paint is manipulated in such a way that the streaks, bubbles and curves that are typical of Ernst’s paintings of this period are formed on the surface in an unplanned manner.” And these works are paradigmatic for Surrealism, seducing the viewer at any moment to identify figures and forms that have never been deliberately represented.
Other masterpieces by Emil Nolde, Alexander Calder or Oskar Schlemmer
Galerie Thomas is proud to announce in addition: masterpieces by German expressionist Emil Nolde, American artist of Classic Modernism Alexander Calder, German Bauhaus teacher Oskar Schlemmer and others.
- July 27, 2018 - Galerie Thomas MODERN
Jim Dine - New Painting and Sculpture
Right into the Heart
Jim Dine comes to the Opening of his Show to Galerie Thomas Modern
Munich. Jim Dine, one of the great representatives of American Painting since the sixties, is visiting Galerie Thomas Modern for the season’s opening. “Jim has created 15 paintings, some very large scale, and four sculptures for us", says Raimund Thomas, who visited the 83-year-old artist at his Paris studio. “They are thickly applied hearts, a subject that has preoccupied Dine for many years - and which everybody loves.”
Close ties to Germany
“I started to use paint in a way as though paint was an object itself”, says Jim Dine. In the 1960s, after his studies, Dine joined the group of artists around Rauschenberg, Oldenburg and Lichtenstein, and is now one of the most important representatives of Pop Art. “Jim himself always rejects this pigeonholing, though,” says Raimund Thomas. After his wild years in New York, he moved to London for some years, where he immersed himself in printmaking, typography and drawing. At the beginning of the 1970s, he added sculpture to his repertoire. in 1984, Jim Dine had a groundbreaking encounter with the classical sculpture at the Munich Glyptothek. His relationship with Germany goes even further: Three years ago, the artist gifted 230 prints – etchings, lithographs, and woodcuts – created in the past 50 years, to the Folkwang-Museum in Essen. He also works regularly in his print studio in Göttingen. In France the Centre Pompidou has dedicated a solo exhibition to Dine last year.
- January 9, 2018 - Galerie Thomas
Paul Klee. Music and Theatre in Life and Work
Opening on Thursday, February 22, 2018, 7 p.m.
From the end of February 2018, Galerie Thomas, Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, and the Franz Marc Museum in Kochel am See, are simultaneously presenting exhibitions with works by Paul Klee.
For 2018, Dr. Oliver Kase, head of the Classical Modernism collection at the Bavarian State Painting Collections, Munich, promises “Klee Festivals in Munich”. (Süddeutsche Zeitung, Sept. 28, 2017)
Galerie Thomas is focusing its exhibition on the topic of ”Paul Klee. Music and Theatre in Life and Work“.
Klee was not only a visual artist, but also a musician. In his youth, he had found it difficult to decide between the two professions, and although he eventually chose in favour of painting, his close affinity with music never waned: all his life he was an impassioned violinist and an enthusiastic and critical attendee of concerts and opera performances, especially in Munich.
However, music and visual art enjoyed a close relationship not only in Klee's life, but also in his work. Rhythms and melodies are reflected in landscapes, architectures and abstract compositions; the pathos and wit of the stage play form the basis of many of his figurative scenes.
With around 40 paintings, watercolours and drawings from 1914 to 1939, Galerie Thomas illustrates how Klee was preoccupied with music throughout all phases of his creative life. They include known works, as well as those that have only rarely been seen in exhibitions, if at all, until now. The exhibition has two main focuses: on the one hand, there are the stage characters and masks, i.e. works arising from his passion for opera, theatre and puppet shows, and on the other hand, symbolic abstract watercolours and paintings whose composition is modelled on musical structures.
The highlight of the exhibition is the painting The Singer L. as Fiordiligi, 1923, a work, that Klee not only prepared very carefully, but also repeated several times. He recreated the figure no less than five times, more than any other motif in his oeuvre. Two versions can be seen in the exhibition: the first work from 1923 and the subsequent hand-coloured lithograph of 1923, which was derived from it and which Klee gave away only to selected collectors. Another version is owned by the Bavarian State Painting Collections, Munich, and will be simultaneously on display in the exhibition at the Pinakothek der Moderne.
Along with private lenders, we are also grateful to public museums for their support with loans: Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, Germany; Franz Marc Museum, Kochel am See, Germany; Ulmer Museum, Ulm Germany and others.
The exhibition is curated by Dr. Christine Hopfengart, formerly the head of the Paul Klee Foundation, Bern, Switzerland, and a long standing specialist in the artist’s work.
Alongside its Klee exhibition, Galerie Thomas is also presenting an extensive supporting programme. It includes concerts with performances of works by Bach and Mozart, as well as the ‘Fiordiligi’ aria from ‘Così fan tutte’, which were favourites of Klee’s; on the other hand, there are also works by contemporary composers following motifs from Paul Klee’s paintings; a performance with replicas of Klee’s glove puppets, as well as a reading from his papers, letters and diaries.
Paul Klee was not only among the visual artists of the 20th century who were most deeply involved with music, but was also the one whose paintings found the broadest echo with musicians and composers. Klee himself picked up stimuli from music, and also gave them in return. Over 450 compositions from the 1940s until the present day have made reference to Klee and one or other of his paintings.
The catalogue (edited by Christine Hopfengart), which will be published by the Wienand Verlag, Cologne, in February 2018, gives an insight into Klee’s double life as a painter and musician. It includes a number of articles of both an art historical and a musicological nature about Klee’s specific artistic existence as a “painter-violinist” and the artistic duality in which he moved.
The catalogue also contains all the exhibited works in colour (approx. 208 pages with approx. 160 coloured and b&w illustrations, ISBN 978-3-86832-423-5).
The exhibited works are supported by extensive documentation on Klee’s “musical-theatrical biography”. His performances as a violinist are also dealt with, as are his activities as a music and theatre critic, as well as the influence of music on his lectures at the Bauhaus. Moreover, special attention is paid to his links to Munich’s music and theatre scene. The performances at Munich’s court theatre and the many concerts he attended had a formative influence on Klee, and it was in this city that he took the decisive steps towards developing his ”musical visual language”.
- December 1, 2017 - Art Fairs
Art Basel Miami Beach
As one of the leading international galleries for German Expressionism and Classical Modern Art, Galerie Thomas is proud to show an exquisite selection of works by Alexander Calder and Joan Miró as one of its focal points at Art Basel Miami Beach 2017.
Calder and Miró meet for the first time in Paris in 1928 and remain present throughout each other’s lives. Their friendship fostered an artistic dialogue on the edge of physics and poetry, a communication of free floating forms. Close in compositional, formal and aesthetic approach, their respective oeuvres give resonance of Calder’s and Miró’s search for a new language in art.
Their artistic dialogue becomes visible in combining paintings, sculptures and works on paper of both artists at Galerie Thomas’s booth at Art Basel Miami Beach 2017. Of course, an example of Calder’s specific and famous mobile sculptures will be on display as well as Miró’s unmistakable paintings, oscillating between surrealist symbolism and lyrical abstraction.
Next to this, we will focus on masterpieces of ‘Blue Rider’ and ‘Brücke’, e.g. by Emil Nolde, Alexej von Jawlensky, August Macke and Gabriele Münter, as well as further Classical Modern artists such as Marc Chagall and Chaim Soutine.
Marc Chagall often incorporated the Eiffel tower in paintings. He was deeply overwhelmed by the city and never forgot his first impressions upon arriving in Paris in 1910.
- November 6, 2017 - Galerie Thomas
As a member of the ‘Blue Rider’ group, Gabriele Münter was not only an outstanding Expressionist painter, but was also among the most important Modernist female artistic personalities in Germany. In the year of Gabriele Münter’s 140th birthday, Galerie Thomas is dedicating an extensive exhibition to her.
Examples of Münter’s work from all periods will be on show, starting with the small-format landscapes, which she created between 1903 and 1906/07, still in a very Impressionist painting style, in Upper Bavaria, France and on her Tunisia journey, always accompanied by Wassily Kandinsky.
However, our exhibition will concentrate on paintings from the peak period of Expressionism and the Blue Rider, when Münter was working in Munich, often with the other representatives of the Blue Rider, and at the ‘Russian House’ in Murnau, through to an example of her attempts at abstract painting, which she made under the influence of Kandinsky in the war year 1915 in Zurich.
From the 1920s, again in Murnau – with intermissions in Berlin and Paris – until her death in 1962, Gabriele Münter created an extensive oeuvre, which developed stylistically without losing its strong ties to Expressionism. Her landscapes and still lifes, which are represented in the exhibition from three decades of her later work, all show an unmistakeable reflection of the Blue Rider period. Her very individual visual language, characteristically combining expressiveness and colour, sensitively nuanced and with a classically influenced compositional tranquillity, can be wonderfully traced throughout the painter’s oeuvre in this presentation.
Galerie Thomas’s exhibition with works by Gabriele Münter takes place in parallel with a major overview show ‘Gabriele Münter: Painting to the Point’ in the Städtische Galerie in Lenbachhaus, so that there is ample opportunity available in Munich to rediscover a large range of the artist’s work in all its facets.
- October 2, 2017 - Art Fairs
As one of the leading international galleries for German Expressionism and Classical Modern Art, Galerie Thomas is proud to show a special presentation at Frieze Masters dedicated to Alexander Calder and Joan Miró.
Calder and Miró meet for the first time in Paris in 1928 and remain present throughout each other's lives. Their friendship fostered an artistic dialogue on the edge of physics and poetry, a communication of free floating forms.
Close in compositional, formal and aesthetic approach, their respective oeuvres give resonance of Calder's and Miró's search for a new language in art, taking into account the influences of classical modern and surrealist achievements.
Still Calder and Miró were opposites in many ways. The American Calder was sociable and boisterous, tall and robust, the Catalan Miró was reserved and quiet, short and delicate - but they got along well spontaneously. Seeing their works together gives one explanation: they drew from the same artistic mind, informed by a joy of life, an abundant imagination and a similar sense of humour.
Alexander Calder (1898-1976) is among the most innovative creators of kinetic art of the 20th century. In 1926, when in Paris, Calder starts making sculptures of wire. He follows the spirit of that time by focussing on motion and time in his works. He was the first artist to build his aesthetic principles on these elements.
"Why must art be static? The next step is sculpture in motion."
"A simple line painted with the brush can lead to freedom and happiness."
Joan Miró (1893-1983) gets in contact with the surrealists around André Breton, causing a deep change in his work. Step by step, Miró develops his characteristic pictorial language, full of dreamlike and fantastic creatures. Out of this rich imagination and poetic vision, the artist conceives his own cosmos.
This artistic dialogue becomes visible in combining paintings, sculptures and works on paper of both artist's at Galerie Thomas's booth at Frieze Masters 2017. Of course, an example of Calder's specific and famous Mobile sculptures will be on display as well as Miró's unmistakable paintings, oscillating between surrealist symbolism and lyrical abstraction. But just as Joan Miró worked as a sculptor, Alexander Calder was a painter, too. At Frieze Masters, all artistic approaches and techniques of the two masters will be visible and allow to discover similarities and differences, analogies and singularities in their magnificently creative oeuvres.
Galerie Thomas is happy to show a cross section of works by these two exceptional artists side by side already for the second time after its exhibition 'Alexander Calder & Joan Miró' in 2010.
- August 4, 2017 - Galerie Thomas MODERN
Opening on September 8, at 7pm
Without a doubt, Fernando Botero is one of the best known living artists today, and thanks to the famous style he has been developing since the late 1960s, his works are highly recognizable.
The voluminous exaggeration of the human figure, but also of animals and objects, in his paintings, drawings, and sometimes monumental sculptures, not only have a high recognition value, but are also the result of Botero's intensive study of Western art history, the canon of art and the cultural legacy of his South American native country.
Fernando Botero has frequently exhibited at Galerie Thomas; the gallery has been attending his work for decades. A highlight of this cooperation was the presentation of several of the artist's monumental sculptures on the Museum Island in Berlin in 2007. Galerie Thomas last presented an exhibition with works by Fernando Botero and Pablo Picasso at Art Basel in Hong Kong.
On the occasion of his 85th birthday, which Fernando Botero celebrated in 2017, Galerie Thomas Modern is staging an exhibition with works by the Columbian master at "OPEN art". Paintings, works on paper, and sculptures from three decades will be on view, giving an impressive overview of Botero's inimitable artistic oeuvre.
- August 4, 2017 - Galerie Thomas
9x Emil Nolde
Emil Nolde and watercolour - there are few painters of Classic Modernism who mastered this artistic technique as virtuosic and made such an impact for decades to come as this outstanding proponent of German Expressionism.
Nolde's use of incandescent colours and his confidence in the handling of the medium not only demonstrate his masterly technique, but also, to what extent Emil Nolde assumes a very distinct position in the context of Expressionism and beyond. His watercolours, with their dissolving colour and graduation, unite the representational of the motif and the abstraction of the colour fields to create a singular viewing experience.
In its exhibition series "9x" Galerie Thomas is presenting a concentrated selection of watercolours by Nolde, created between 1910 and 1940. Among these are examples of the artist's most important themes, portraits and figures as well as flower still lifes and landscapes. All works are outstanding examples of Nolde's watercolour oeuvre; some also have a reference to his biography, such as the Portrait of Johanna Schiefler or the landscape around Seebüll, his chosen home and source of inspiration for his late work period.
- June 1, 2017 - Art Fairs
At Art Basel 2017, Galerie Thomas is presenting a special selection of masterpieces from its main programme. As one of the leading international galleries for German Expressionism and Classic Modern, in Basel we are presenting, among others, works by Alexej von Jawlensky, August Macke, Oskar Schlemmer as well as Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso and Chaim Soutine.
Chaim Soutine's oil painting "Landscape at Cagnes" was painted in 1923/24 during his stay at Cagnes-sur-Mer (south of France). He painted the small town of Cagnes, which is located on a hill, in many variations. In the present work, the powerful brush stroke draws the viewer into the town on the hill. The pull also seems to encompass the surrounding landscape and the houses, which adapt themselves to the curves of the street in an amorphous vortex. However, the movement does not disturb the painting's composition, Soutine contains it and generates a defining poignancy in the process.
Between 1952 and 1956, Marc Chagall painted the "Série de Paris", a group of works which show that he had truly arrived in France after moving there in 1950. The poetic scenes he now created were set against the backdrop of Paris or towns and villages in Provence. In "Etude pour la nuit de Vence" (1953), the violinist, the rooster and the goat, well known elements he cherished as reminders of life in his beloved hometown of Vitebsk, are floating in the night sky, surrounded by deep red. The full moon is shining down on a dark city, with a pair of lovers embracing in the foreground.
In the spring of 1963 Pablo Picasso painted a whole series of portraits of a painter and on the theme "Painter and Model". Picasso's main inspiration was his study of Rembrandt, whose "Self portrait with Saskia" he interpreted in a large painting on March 13, 1963. In the preceding days, he created several works of a painter in profile, whose characteristics, the strongly accentuated eyes, the ruffled curly hair, and the beard are the same as Picasso's Rembrandt in his version of "Self portrait with Saskia". The painting "Tête d'Homme, profil", created only a few days earlier, also belongs to this group of Rembrandt portraits. Here, Picasso explored the physiognomy of the Dutch master, as well as the complex spatial perspective, in a concentrated composition.
In the same year, the avant-gardist Lucio Fontana created the sculpture "Concetto Spaziale". The glazed ceramic in blue and green was created as a unique piece while searching for a new experience of space, not only for sculpture, but for painting as well. Fontana was concerned with opening up spaces by perforating the canvas or picture plane with sharp tools. For this reason, he opened monochrome canvasses with a sharp knife in 1958. The resulting slash created the illusion of an infinite space behind it. In this way he penetrated the two-dimensionality of his work and opened another dimension. The artistic intention was to express emptiness as a positive element. Later he used the same principle on reliefs of various materials and on oviform objects made of clay and bronze.
- May 31, 2017 - Galerie Thomas MODERN
“The entire paradox of light is that it includes everything that is visible, but is invisible itself.” (Adolf Luther)
Using light as a material and overcoming the conventional forms of artistic representation are the characteristics of the work of Adolf Luther, one of the most important exponents of Op Art, Light Art and Conceptual Art in Germany. In the wake of the ZERO movement, his distinctive mirror objects, sculptures and light installations not only widened the conception of art in the late sixties and early seventies, but completely reinvented it. Adolf Luther’s works, as severe as they are poetical, still exert a special fascination, not least because, through his preoccupation with light, the artist wanted to formulate a new concept of reality and open our eyes to a view beyond the world that can be perceived with the senses.
In its exhibition, Galerie Thomas Modern is presenting not only a number of light and mirror steles, but also one of Adolf Luther’s earliest Laser Rooms, which were ground breaking at the time.
- January 30, 2017 - Galerie Thomas
August Macke - Up close and personal
In the new exhibition, Galerie Thomas is presenting August Macke with a fine and private selection of family owned drawings, watercolours and paintings. Around 50 works give an insight into the artist's oeuvre from the beginning of his style development until shortly before World War I, which proved fatal for this important German Expressionist as well.
Macke's path to the "Blue Rider" can clearly be traced, up to his typical pictorial language, which - always focused on the figure - draws attention to colour first and at the same time gives a sense of the strong influence of the French Fauves - especially by Henri Matisse. There are works on paper and oil paintings which are autobiographically motivated and tell off Macke's stay in his home town Bonn and at Tegernsee. Equally present are pictures of family or the circle of friends, for example of his wife Elisabeth or his son Walter. Impressions of every day life antedate the journey to Tunis in layout and composition, and Macke's interest in textile art also becomes comprehensible in his imaginative, colourful designs.
Macke may have been the most down-to-earth Expressionist, especially in the circle surrounding the Blue Rider, whose proximity to esoteric thought was evident in an even more spiritual manner than it was with the artists of the "Brücke" group and yet played a very minor role for August Macke. In comparison to Kandinsky or Jawlensky, Macke was clearly less spiritually minded, instead he was drawn to the elementary power and the beauty of nature - possibly a mental connection with Matisse.
Still, August Macke was also concerned with the questions of painterly abstraction, quite early on in fact, which some of the works within the exhibition reveal. But his closeness to nature and to people - which brings him much closer to Franz Marc or Gabriele Münter than to the other members to the Blue Rider and in his humanity clearly makes him a Rhenish Expressionist - has set August Macke in his art on a lifelong quest for the beauty and depth of life. It was defined by his dictum, which is inscribed in his last resting-place:
”For me, working is suffusing nature with joy.”
- November 10, 2016 - Galerie Thomas MODERN
SIMON SCHUBERT - Wherever is now
In his most recent exhibition at Galerie Thomas Modern, Simon Schubert presents new works on paper, foldings and graphite drawings, as well as sculptures and objects. Rooms and interior views, perspectives and vistas again play a prominent role – not only literally and visibly, but also metaphorically.
Simon Schubert’s folded paper works show interiors and suites of rooms, created in the eye of the beholder by the light and shadows of the surface. In addition, they always play with the motif of the incident light represented in the picture itself. Consequently, they are of an ambivalent, transient nature, seeming to perpetually appear and fade away again. There is also a sense of persons being present, despite the rooms being nearly always entirely empty of humans. In addition, they include a passage of time, which also plays a key role in the graphite works.
Here, the represented room remains essentially invisible, shrouded in the black of the graphite of the drawing, but the darkness that is perceived in this way, is interrupted by the partially blinding incident light. Like the folds, the motifs – rooms, windows, doors, staircases – intone the theme of being drawn into the room, walking through the room, and therefore also passing through time. This is further emphasized by the candle as motif, a universal symbol of transience, of time, but also of hope.
All of Schubert’s works – in particular also the sculptural works and the large self-portrait – thus centre on the theme of introspection, and raise the physical, spatial aspect to a psychological level. The rooms that are not specifically localized have a labyrinthine connotation: they are also metaphors for inner worlds.
These often Baroque rooms, stretching into infinity, refer to Schubert’s preoccupation with structuralist theories, and it is therefore no surprise that one of the main works of Structuralism by Gilles Deleuze, which deals with Baroque rooms and forms, is entitled “The Fold”.
But the element of time, too, derives from – besides spatial infinity – the variety of literary references in Simon Schubert's work, which also reappear in the title of the exhibition. The normally impermissible coupling of time and spatial allusions in “Wo auch immer ist jetzt“ (“Wherever is now”) is a modified quotation from "Peter Pan", one of the most famous children's books in literary history. Its existence, outside time, in the utopian space of “Neverland”, where time has stopped and children never grow up, is a metaphor of the inner world of the mind, just as in Simon Schubert’s formally virtuoso pictorial space creations.
- September 9, 2016 - Galerie Thomas MODERN
PETER HALLEY - SAW
To mark the opening of the season with OPEN art 2016, Galerie Thomas Modern is presenting the latest works by Peter Halley. Peter Halley calls the four large-format canvases “SAW” I – IV, “grid paintings”, a technique he has used since 2014 to introduce a new formal component into his work.
In his work, Halley explores geometrical patterns, colours and surface structures, and their organisation, investigating the structures of modern technological constellations in communication systems, architectures, supply infrastructures and the like. In all his works, one can see the predominance of digitally determined layouts in frameworks and layers.
In his latest compositions, Halley focuses on rectangular colour fields without outlining structures, as in the “cells”, “prisons” and “conduits” of his earlier works. These new pieces contain allusions to largescale image pixels, thereby reflecting Halley’s questioning of the organisation and construction of space, communication and its regulation; but they also deal with our ever more abstracted perception of reality via digital image fields of LED monitors, computer screens and the ubiquitous touchscreens of mobile phones, tablets or navigation systems.
Peter Halley’s “grid paintings” appear to give a self-contradictory commentary on the rivalry between the digital and analogue image, thus also alluding to a chronological structure – where the completely ephemeral, transient digital image is concerned. It remains unclear whether the paintings depict a detail in the time sequence or colour combination, as in the extreme enlargement of a digital representation, or selection by chance that forces the observer to take a particular point of view. At the same time, the apparent, extremely enlarged “pixels” have been transformed into actual, entirely analogue, materially tangible colour surfaces.
As though to reinforce this contrast, Peter Halley gives the colour surfaces a relief-like, haptic surface, thereby contradicting even more strongly the character of the actually incorporeal digital pixels, which are merely appearance and can only provide a colour, an image, a representation – i.e. more complex information – when combined in their thousands. Even if the strict rules of composition are clearly sible, Peter Halley in this way shows how the hierarchy of information influences the rules of perception.
In these highly minimalistic but large-scale grids, the clearly delimited colour surfaces remain without information content or symbolic meaning. Initially, the colour contrasts are the only information, whereas the composition is contingent in its effect and the underlying order pattern or arrangement scheme is not deducible. Nevertheless, the question arises as to whether the sequence and the size ratio of the surfaces to one another don’t contain a code after all. Here, Halley emphasises the importance and role of geometry: is it a pattern underlying the world, an unveiling of the most secret systems of order, or a rigid explanation schema, devised by man and opposed to the organic?
The contrast between the coldness of the mathematics, the geometry and the warmth of the colour, of the sensual perception, leads us to the core of Halley’s artistic criticism of the limitations of systematic measurement and classification of the world. At the same time, he thereby addresses one of the oldest aesthetic theories – that the sense of beauty is determined by proportions. In the history of art, there have been many diverse, exhaustive efforts to fathom the mathematical rules of beauty – one only needs to remember Leonardo’s Vitruvian Man and the importance of the golden ratio.
In these new works, Halley departs one step further from the architectonic principle that dominates his “prison paintings”, towards a pure geometrical abstract composition, which he spectacularly and, in contrast to all earlier artistic movements of Geometrical Abstraction, Abstract Impressionism, Pop Art or Minimal Art, disengages from the non-figurative, and connects directly to the reality of the living world.
About the Artist
Peter Halley first came to prominence in the mid-1980s with his diagrammatic representations, his geometrically alienated cells and prisons in strong, fluorescent colours. Since the 1990s, Halley created site-specific installations, in which he integrated his images into large digital prints that covered entire walls.
From 1996 to 2005, Halley published index magazine, focusing on interviews with countless artistic personalities. In 2001, he received the Frank Jewett Mather Award from the renowned College Art Association for his art criticism. From 2002 to 2011, he was Director of Graduate Studies in Painting and Printmaking at Yale.
The latest exhibitions with works by Peter Halley were the opening exhibition “America is Hard to See” at the Whitney Museum of American Art, a one-person exhibition at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art and, currently, his large installation in the rotunda of the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt am Main.
Galerie Thomas Modern exclusively represents Peter Halley in Germany and has presented his works in a number of one-person and group exhibitions, most recently with a large wall installation at Art Basel Unlimited 2016.
For detailed information and press images, please contact:
Sabrina Betz, email@example.com, +49 89 29 000 863
- June 6, 2016 - Fairs
Art Basel Unlimited
Galerie Thomas presents a new wall installation with paintings by Peter Halley, especially designed for Art Basel Unlimited and titled "Weak Force". Peter Halley will install new so-called "grid" paintings from his recently started series on a wall of 4 meters height and 18 meters length approximately, decorated with a digitally printed wallpaper echoing the colour patterns of the paintings by depicting exploding colour cells. The surface design of the paintings is contrasting the recurring pattern of the wallpaper, creating an impressive colour field that challenges the viewer's perception.
Halley's work has been exploring geometrical patterns, colour and surface structures and their organisation, as an investigation in the structure of modern technological layouts of communication, architecture, supply facilities etc. The domination of digitally defined layouts in frames and layers is visible in all of his works, while in his newest paintings, Halley stresses rectangular colour fields without outlining structures as in his cells, prisons and conduits. Associations of large scale image pixels are still present in these recent works, and therefore also Halley's questions on organisation and construction of space, communication and its regulation.
Peter Halleys grid paintings obviously give a contradictory information on the overall structure which is simultaneously visible and indicates kind of a time structure. It remains unclear if this information concentrates on a certain detail in time or constellation of colour fields or if it is rather a random choice, imposing a point of view that leaves no tolerance to the viewer. Even though the strict rules of composition are clearly visible, Halley reveals how the hierarchy of information influences the rules of perception.
Peter Halley is represented in Germany by Galerie Thomas. The gallery has continuously been presenting solo exhibitions and single works by Peter Halley. The artist's project for Art Basel Unlimited combines both the clearly defined, austere geometrical painting he has been developing for more than three decades and his interest in construction patterns of space and communication. At the same time, the project marks a new phase in Peter Halley's painting and artistic approach.
- February 16, 2016 - Fairs
RAIMUND THOMAS AWARDED ART COLOGNE PRIZE 2016
This year, Raimund Thomas will be awarded the ART COLOGNE Prize for his outstanding achievements in the arts. The Munich art dealer was one of the founding members of “Kunstmarkt Köln” back in 1967.
Raimund Thomas decided to become an art dealer in 1961, after studying architecture in Munich. He spent several months in London, New York and Paris, visiting galleries, and attending art history lectures in Munich. In 1964, he opened Galerie Thomas at Maximilianstrasse 25 in Munich.
Despite the fact that the art landscape in Munich was still relatively exclusive at that time, he exhibited artists of the international avant-garde as early as the 60s and 70s, including Yves Klein, Cy Twombly, Eduardo Chillida, Piero Manzoni, but also Gerhard Richter, Joseph Beuys, Josef Albers and Gotthard Graubner. The late 60s were dominated by Pop Art – including an exhibition of Wesselmann’s “Nudes”.
Raimund Thomas soon created his initial focus by specialising in the works of German Expressionism and Classic Modern. Since then, Max Pechstein, August Macke, Gabriele Münter, Ernst Heckel, Christian Rohlfs, Otto Mueller and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner continue to be inextricably associated with the gallery’s programme.
In 1978, the gallery mounted an exhibition with a hundred never before shown works by Alexej von Jawlensky. Another milestone in the gallery’s history is the acquisition of important expressionist works from the legendary “Rheingarten Collection”. Raimund Thomas continued the tradition of his great predecessors, the art dealers Günter Franke and Otto Stangl, with exceptional exhibitions such as the “Die Blaue Vier” cycle, in which Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, Alexej von Jawlensky and Lyonel Feininger were presented in turn.
In 1986, Raimund Thomas, with four other art dealers, was a founder member of the auction house Villa Grisebach in Berlin.
He championed contemporary artists such as Mimmo Paladino, Nicola De Maria, Francesco Clemente, Enzo Cucchi – as well as Jean-Michel Basquiat, the graffiti artists or the “Neue Wilden” of Berlin.
Pioneering spirit really is one of the characteristics that Raimund Thomas developed throughout his life. An example of this is the opening of his private art gallery, the A 11 Art Forum, in 1987, where, for many years, he realised his personal vision for exhibitions. Until 1990, he presented, on various floors, cross-sections from 'documenta 8' and the Venice Biennale, frequent works of young art, Beuys, but also classics such as the entire lithographic work of Picasso.
In 1995, his daughter, Silke Thomas, joined the gallery, and has managed it together with him since then.
The most important presentations of recent times include the exhibition with works by Chaim Soutine, the “Meisterwerke I-V” cycle, an series of exhibitions with outstanding works by German expressionists, but also individual exhibitions of important representatives of American Post War, such as Tom Wesselmann, Frank Stella and Jim Dine, as well as an international exhibition project to mark the 75th birthday of Fernando Botero, including the exhibition of his monumental sculptures on the museum island in Berlin in autumn 2007.
In 2009, Galerie Thomas opened a second location in Munich, the Galerie Thomas Modern, at Türkenstrasse 16, in direct vicinity of the Pinakothek der Moderne and Museum Brandhorst. It provides almost 900 square metres of space for art after 1945. The important representatives of German Post-War Art, such as Joseph Beuys and Anselm Kiefer are shown, as well as their contemporaries in the USA, like Andy Warhol, Tom Wesselmann, Jim Dine, Joan Mitchell, George Segal and Sam Francis, as well as internationally established artists of the younger generation, such as Marc Quinn and Peter Halley.
Since September 2015, both galleries have been located in the art district at Türkenstrasse 16.
With Raimund Thomas, the 2016 ART COLOGNE Prize is being awarded to a founder member of “Kunstmarkt Köln”, the forerunner of the present day ART COLOGNE. Since 1967, Galerie Thomas has been among the regular exhibitors at the world’s first art fair for modern and contemporary art.
The ART COLOGNE Prize is awarded annually by the Bundesverband Deutscher Galerien and Kunsthändler (German Association of Galleries and Art Dealers) and the Koelnmesse for outstanding achievements in the arts. The prize will be presented, in the presence of invited guests, on the opening day of this year’s ART COLOGNE in the historic town hall in Cologne.
- September 1, 2014 - Galerie Thomas
September 12 - November 15, 2014
To mark its 50th anniversary, Galerie Thomas is holding an extensive exhibition, which extends to both galleries in Munich, and will open in parallel as part of the OPEN ART weekend on September 12.
In the last 50 years, Galerie Thomas has successfully exhibited the art of the 20th century – starting with German Expressionism and Classical Modern Art, and continuing with items post 1945 and Contemporary Art. Our anniversary exhibition documents a cross-section of the galleries' abundant activities in the last 50 years, and demonstrates impressively what has been exhibited and achieved in the 50 years of Galerie Thomas’s existence and in the five years since the opening of Galerie Thomas Modern.
The exhibition is classified into various themes, highlighting different focuses of the galleries’ work. The individual themes are illustrated with partly historical documentary material from 50 years of life with art.
For example, the topic of ‘Highlights – Time and Again’ is a reminder of the sensational sales exhibition of the 'Rheingarten Collection' in the possession of Hans Grothe. The theme ‘Good Instinct’ documents early exhibitions of works by artists who have only now become famous: Josef Albers, Joseph Beuys, Yves Klein, Piero Manzoni, Gotthard Graubner, Gerhard Richter, Eduardo Chillida and Tom Wesselmann. Raimund Thomas also exhibited Contemporary Russian Art in cooperation with Henri Nannen, as well as young Chinese Art, both at an early stage.